Matthew Mondanile is probably equally well known for performing as Ducktails as he is for being guitarist in the Woodsist-affiliated band Real Estate. Recording endeavors from both groups arrive with a breezy, tossed-off feel angling at nonchalance. Success at being another troupe of slacker musicians has been fully realized for both outfits even as Ducktails, since its first 2007 releases, moved slowly towards the normalcy of Real Estate’s rock escapades. Mondanile, not always touting lackadaisical New Jersey shoreline beach pop, began Ducktails with the mindset that creating loops from a handful of vintage, and sometimes African, recordings would serve as ample foundation for his spindly guitar noodling. It worked, pretty much from the start after dispensing with the ambient experiment “Dreams in Mirror Field.” From the 2009 self-titled disc on Los Angeles’ Not Not Fun, “Beach Point Pleasant” circulates a keyboard pattern and accompanying drum beat snatched from some Ethio-jazz offering and grants Mondanile almost four minutes worth of time to explore modes his guitar can fit to the aging melody. Improvising in such a fashion only lasted a short while, with the following albums, “Backyard” and “Landscapes,” beginning to incorporate a pop consciousness previously absent from Ducktails releases. Issuing “III: Arcade Dynamics” with tracks like “Don’t Make Plans” completed the sonic shift with Ducktails aping a summery pop confection not dissimilar from anything Real Estate and its brethren have dispensed. The music hasn’t improved or gotten worse. It’s utterly different, but holds onto enough low-fidelity ambience to get over. Of course, if you don’t catch Ducktails opening up for Wild Nothing on Friday, just wait until Sunday to see Mondanile perform with Real Estate. It’s pretty much the same thing at this point. (Dave Cantor)
July 15 at Subterranean, 2011 West North, (773)278-6600. 9:30pm. $15. 17+.